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  • Fall time change and how to adjust your sleep for the winter

    Oct 30 2013...
    Most of the United States will “fall back” to standard time on Sunday, November 3, at 2 a.m. Most people associate the fall time change with an extra hour of sleep followed by shorter days with earlier sunsets.

    Sleep physicians see the end of daylight saving time as a possible conflict between your body’s circadian rhythms and the expectations of society. READ MORE>>
  • Internal clocks can be ticking time bombs for diabetes, obesity

    Apr 01 2013...
    If you're pulling and all-nighter to finish a term paper, a new parent up all night with a fussy baby, or simply can't sleep like you once could, then you may be snoozing on good health. That's because new research published in The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Journal used mice to show that proper sleep patterns are critical for healthy metabolic function, and even mild impairment in our circadian rhythms can lead to serious health consequences, including diabetes and obesity.

    "We should acknowledge the unforeseen importance of our 24-hour rhythms for health," said Claudia Coomans, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Molecular Cell Biology in the Laboratory of Neurophysiology at Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, Netherlands. "To quote Seneca 'We should live according to nature (secundum naturam vivere).'" READ MORE>>
  • Adjust sleep schedule to minimize effect of daylight saving time

    Mar 07 2013...
    This weekend marks the return of daylight saving time (DST) for most of the United States. To help ensure a smooth transition to the new time, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) recommends that you begin to adjust your sleep schedule a few days prior to the beginning of DST.

    AASM spokesperson Ron Kramer, MD, with Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., says the return of DST is a good time to examine your individual sleep pattern. Along with diet and exercise, sleep is one of keys to maximize your health. READ MORE>>
  • Circadian clock linked to obesity, diabetes and heart attacks

    Feb 25 2013...
    Disruption in the body's circadian rhythm can lead not only to obesity, but can also increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

    This is the first study to definitely show that insulin activity is controlled by the body’s circadian biological clock. The study, which was published on Feb. 21 in the journal Current Biology, helps explain why not only what you eat, but when you eat, matters. READ MORE>>
  • Body clock has “snooze button” to help cells adapt

    Feb 18 2013...
    Researchers from Vanderbilt University have found that the circadian clocks that control and influence dozens of basic biological processes have an unexpected "snooze button" that helps cells adapt to changes in their environment.

    "This provides organisms with a novel and previously unappreciated mechanism for responding to changes in their environment," said Professor of Biological Sciences Carl Johnson. He and Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Antonis Rokas collaborated on the study. READ MORE>>
  • Body clock can be modified to possibly treat sleep disorders

    Feb 08 2013...
    The cellular mechanism by which circadian rhythms – also known as the body clock – modify energy metabolism and the novel compounds that control this action have been identified by researchers at the University of California Irvine. The findings point to potential treatments for disorders triggered by circadian rhythm dysfunction, ranging from insomnia and obesity to diabetes and cancer.

    "Circadian rhythms of 24 hours govern fundamental physiological functions in almost all organisms," said Paolo Sassone-Corsi, the lead researcher and the Donald Bren Professor of Biological Chemistry. "The circadian clocks are intrinsic time-tracking systems in our bodies that anticipate environmental changes and adapt themselves to the appropriate time of day. Disruption of these rhythms can profoundly influence human health." READ MORE>>
  • Gene helps predict time of death

    Nov 19 2012...
    Researchers have identified the gene that helps determine the time of day a person is most likely to die. Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) say this gene can also determine if you’re an early bird or night owl.

    “Virtually all physiological processes have a circadian rhythm, meaning that they occur predominantly at certain parts of the day,” says the study’s co-author Dr. Clifford Saper. “There’s even a circadian rhythm of death, so that in the general population people tend on average to be most likely to die in the morning hours. Sometime around 11 a.m. is the average time.” READ MORE>>
  • Winter, sleep and your circadian rhythms

    Nov 13 2012...
    Unlike animals, humans do not need to hibernate during the winter. It may feel like you need more sleep during the winter months because the days get shorter. However, your actual sleep need does not increase.

    It is normal for sleep habits and activity cycles to change a bit as the seasons change. The biggest mistake people make when it comes to sleeping in the winter is ignoring your body's natural rhythms. READ MORE>>
  • Why sleep is difficult on the night shift

    Nov 05 2012...
    Although many people still work a traditional 9-to-5 workday, there are millions of Americans that work the evening shift, night shift, rotating shift, or other employer arranged irregular schedules, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Shift work can have an affect on your health and therefore it’s important for shift workers to make sleep a priority.

    There are several reasons why night shifts wreak such havoc on sleep. Depending on their biological clock, some people may be more affected than others. A night owl might cope relatively well with night shift work, while most morning people cope relatively poorly. READ MORE>>